For some reason I didn't get my pictures up? I'm trying again
I have been looking for a plasma table that would fit my budget and my shop. We design and manufacture custom machines, control systems and automated machines. No a very good environment for most cutters. Smoke and water spray is acceptable for a steel fabrication shop but not relay good for a machine / electronics shop. Plus I build drag racing cars for a hobby so lots of abrasive dust isn't good for that either.
I started looking at water tables but they look messy and well I won't be running the machine every day and what do you do with the water? So down draft was the way to go for me.
The cnc section is built with 8020 profiles and linear bearings. I know that .001 accuracy will not be possible BUT, this is plasma cutting not machining. I can easily get .004 accuracy with this setup and save lots and lots of money.
We had a few steel plates cut by laser cutter, $500 to Ebay suppliers, added a few bolts and some steppers and in 1 day had a working XY table.
I decided to make the machine 48 X 30 " so it wouldn't take up lots of shop space. The gantry is 50" long so scaling up to 4' X 8' is very easy and since the X axis is rack and pinion the same gantry can be used for only a couple of hundred bucks more.
Right now we are using a 1 micron filtration system at 900 cfm. . If we need to we can add electrostatic filtration as well But keeping with our budget, we are trying not to.
If anyone wants some drawings or steel parts I have some left ( I had to pay a minimum so I cut more ) . I will keep posting as we go along keeping you informed.
Yea , I 'll take some plans and more pics close up . Thanks !
Hey man, love the machine. Nice work. Simple and functional... which I've found is the best thing. I'm looking into building something similar... 2'x4' travel so it takes up about as much space as a normal workbench. How's it work without Torch-height-control? Any plans for a z-axis? How about the 80/20 teflon linear bearings on the gantry? Thanks!
We have a z axis now running very well. I ran v wheels on the gantry but I think the 8020 slides will work as well.
By the way I have 500 inc/minute travel with no step loss.
The THC thing is quite a question. If I cut 1/16 plus thickness or 22 gauge without THC there is no problem at all, BUT.
If I do a lot of cutting on a little piece the material warps and causes trouble. But the piece cut or not is useless because of the warping. 20 ga. is not a problem if you cut at 300 to 400 ipm and don't try cutting pieces less than 1/2 inch wide.
I think the THC is more important to keep the kerf constant and therefore improving the precision on thin material.
By the way we are completely enclosing the machine in a cover so no sparks / slag will be thrown around the shop, also with tinted windows we won't need eye protection.
Interesting on the THC. I am planning on cutting mostly .125-.250 material, so maybe I'll wait on the Z-axis until it's needed.
Did you gear the steppers at all or just direct drive them onto the rack? What kinds of speed and resolution are you getting?
I just ordered a 60" linear rail and trucks for my gantry on automationoverstock. There having a 25% off sale right now, so I figured I might as well start accumulating parts. Found some bearings for the X-axis on Ebay just now too... haha. Too many projects, too little time.
I'm also thinking about having my machine do double duty for some light routing work... so I'm spec'ing the rails per max rigidity. I will probably put a ballscrew on the gantry (well protected ) and geared rack/pinion on the X.
Thanks for sharing your project with everybody. Really cool. If you have more pics, I'd love to check them out. Maybe some more up-close, detailed shots?
I am using a direct drive 265 inch oz.
I get 350 inch/min
accuracy is .01 inch
This is a functional test set up only the finished product will be a lot better.
I am adding a small drill/routing head so that the machine will spot centers of bolt holes. Since plasma isn't very good at that.
I would love to see plans for this.
Also, where did you get the linear ways from. I am having trouble finding the angle cut ones.